Repairing your home

Copy of plans with approved stamped on them

There are no planning or septic tank permit fees for residents who need to rebuild following the June 2021 storms.

Every damaged building is different. For advice, please contact the Planning Rebuilding Recovery Team on 9294 6999. 

If you are repairing a small proportion of a storm damaged section of your home, carport, garage or shed you may not require a planning permit although it is worth checking before undertaking works.

Repairs may include replacing sections of roof sheeting/tiles, guttering, windows and deck/verandah balustrades. The building must be repaired using the same type of materials as the damaged section. It does not involve the entire replacement of the building materials.

There may be some examples where the repairs may require a planning permit, for example, if there is a Heritage Overlay applied to your property.

If you are considering increasing or changing your dwelling in the rebuild process, it is likely that a planning permit is required. You are not able to rely on previous planning approvals to rebuild any damaged structures.

You will require a building permit if structural works are required. A member of Council’s building team or a private building surveyor can advise you if this is the case.  

Please note, Council does not issue building permits - you will need to employ the services of a private Building Surveyor - you can check if your surveyor/builder is registered on the VBA website .

Some insurers will cover the cost of building permit fees. Check your insurance policy to see if you are covered.

If you need to rebuild following storm damage

If your home needs a planning and building permit you are not able to rely on previous planning approvals.

Dedicated planning officers have been assigned to process planning permit applications for storm damaged homes so that these applications can be assessed as a priority.

Properties in Erosion Management Overlays may require a planning permit if a significant rebuild is required. This is due to the risk of landslip for these properties if changes are made to features like constructed drainage or fixed irrigation systems, or if tree removal is required.  

Properties in Bushfire Management Overlays may also require a planning permit if a significant rebuild is required. This is to ensure that appropriate protection measures are implemented for development in bushfire areas.

Property owners with homes damaged by the June 2021 storm are eligible to have planning and septic tank permit fees waived. 

For advice, please contact the Planning Rebuilding Recovery Team on 9294 6999.


If your home has been damaged and it contains asbestos

Buildings built before 1988 may contain asbestos cement sheeting in walls, roofs, floor underlays, eaves, some flues or backing of some vinyl floor tiles. These materials are not generally a health risk unless they are cut or broken up, or ground, in which case they may release asbestos fibres.

If your home contains asbestos and you suspect asbestos materials have been damaged from the storm, it is recommended you contact a licensed asbestos specialist to assess.

More information regarding the safe handling of asbestos can be found at

Checking your septic system

Storms and power outages can sometimes cause damage to septic systems.

Indications that your septic system may require attention include:

  • A pungent odour around the tank and land application area.
  • Blocked fixtures and wastewater overflowing from the relief point.
  • High sludge levels within the primary tank.
  • Sewage flowing up through the toilet and sinks.

Safety issues that should be checked include:

  • Check for broken pits and covers.
  • Ruptured and leaking systems including the pipework.
  • Exposed or damaged pipes that may need to be capped or sealed. If your tank is full or overflowing, contact your service agent and/or licensed septic tank cleaning service. 

If you need to replace your septic tank due to damage, there are various wastewater systems that can be used on private property - the EPA website provides guidance on what those systems are and contact details for companies that can undertaken the work. Indicative costs for installing new wastewater systems can range from approximately $10,000 - $30,000.

When installing a wastewater treatment system there is a permit process which needs to be part of your rebuilding process - there are more details are on our Geotechnical, wastewater and water tanks page.



Rebuilding and wastewater systems

If you plan on the design for your new home being different, with additional bedrooms and/or wastewater fixtures or there is damage to your existing waste water system, please contact Council to discuss the next step, on 1300 368 333.

Property owners with storm damaged homes are eligible to have planning and septic tank permit fees waived.

The existing system and effluent field will need to be protected during the rebuild and or cleaned up at your property to ensure the possibility of damage to the areas is eliminated.

Council records may or may not show the location of the approved wastewater system and effluent field. If we do not have a plan with the location of the approved wastewater system and effluent field, you will need to contract a plumber to identify the locations if you are unaware of them.

Trees and vegetation

Our planning scheme controls the removal and lopping of trees and native vegetation (for example shrubs, tree ferns, native grasses) so it’s important to talk to a planner before removing any vegetation. 

For more information, visit our page about tree removals